Singapore Airlines (SIA) plans to use its initial Boeing 777-200 twinjets, due for delivery this year, to increase capacity on Airbus A310 routes and to add flight frequencies on services which are now operated with larger Boeing 747s. The first aircraft is scheduled to be handed over by Boeing in early May.

The Singapore flag carrier is scheduled to commission its first "Jubilee" 777 into service on 15 May, configured to seat 286 passengers in three classes. Of the remaining 29 aircraft on firm order, a further three are due for delivery before the end of the year, entering service on 1 August, 1 September and 1 October.

According to SIA, the 777 will initially be used mainly to increase seat capacity on its A310 regional routes from Singapore to Penang, Jakarta and Manila. The aircraft will replace the 189-seat A310s on three of the 21 weekly services to the Malaysian island.

The 777, in addition, will replace SIA's A340-300s on all of its daily services to Melbourne from August. The twinjet will also be used to increase frequency on the airline's Singapore-New Delhi route from three to four flights a week from October.

Other changes announced by SIA include additional weekly services from Singapore to Athens (Greece), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Guangzhou (China), Ho Chi Minh (Vietnam), Manchester (UK) and Surabaja (Indonesia) using 747s, A340s and A310s. Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, will be added as a destination in place of Dhahran from August, while Singapore-Cairo, Egypt, will be made a non-stop service. Dubai will be substituted for Dhahran as a stop-over on the Istanbul route.

Source: Flight International